Accompanies Llonwyn’s letter from Teriel
I write this with prayers for your safety and health, and Adar’s as well. It will soon be summer here, and things are greener by the day. There are plants everywhere and they hardly need watered at all! Mother Teriel took us to go eating outside on a blanket. There was a lot of wind and crumbs blew everywhere. I think I ate an ant by mistake, but I daren’t tell anyone. I don’t think an amirah should eat ants. Honored Meritt says it won’t make me sick, but Branner says it will make tunnels in my gut like in his art farm. I don’t think Branner is right, but there are strange tickles in my belly anyhow. Adia had to take a time out for pushing him into the anthill, which was not fair. She was defending me, after all. She’s not an amirah and so I think she might push as many rude boys into antills as she likes, if they deserve it. Should I bestow something on her by way of thanks? I looked at the books of law Honored Meritt brought, but all they ever bestow is land and jewels and slaves, and I don’t have any of those. Would it be enough if I give her my dessert for a week?
They don’t have slaves here at all, and it seems all right. Nobody is overrun by homeless poor that I have seen, and nobody has been beaten. Firstmother says it must be hard for people in debt. I asked Mother Teriel about it, and she said I had better ask Ada. So I shall, but if you think he’ll be angry that I ask, take that part out, please.
A lady died here yesterday. I should feel bad because she was Uncle Angthul’s chief wife, and Uncle Angthul is very nice. But she made him sad because she was a disagreeable woman and could not honor the other women of the household as a good woman should. It made us all very sad. She was mean to Adia’s mother, and so Adia would never give her kisses goodnight, even when she turned her cheek for them. Adia is very brave. I think it’s because she is not an amirah and doesn’t need to have decorum. I didn’t want to give that woman goodnight kisses either, but Firstmother says we must honor all our mothers. Even the mean ones. But Adia says here you may cross your fingers behind your back, and that makes it mean the opposite. Is that all right? Honored Meritt and Firstmother say it is dishonest. But kissing her is also dishonest.
But she is dead now, so I will not have to kiss her anymore. I will kiss Uncle Angthul instead because he is nice and deserves better wives than that one. He hasn’t any at all now. Is it my duty to ask among the widows of our people? Or is that Grandmother’s duty? Honored Meritt isn’t sure and I don’t want to ask and be wrong. His next wife should be nice to Mother Leyira and give him many sons. He hasn’t any at all! It’s very unfair.
I wish the Blessing of the Four on you and Ada, and shall wait on your council,
Amirah Nafisah al’Behd’ad bint’Aminah bint’Aziz
I am well. Adia also well. Everyone but Uncle Angthul’s first wife well, but she was the very bad woman. Is honorable to say this? Everyone keep saying ‘speak well of the dead’ but it is not true. She was mean. It is wronger to lie than to offend the unworthy dead? Mother Teriel say you will know.
I also am curious about the not having slaves. What happen to people who are have debt but not money? What is done to people conquered in wars? I hope it fine to ask. Mother Teriel say you not mind.
Branner tease me for eat ant. It was accident! Could you tell him not to tease so much? Why do people in Gondor eat outside on blanket? Is this not peasant eat?
I sorry if ask too many questions. But I am the curious.
Nafisah, House Arathalion